It is widely recognized that elevated cholesterol levels constitute a major risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Most of the previous surveys conducted in an effort to learn more about incidence of hypercholesterolemia involved patients who had other concurrent risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes mellitus, cigarette smoking, or a history of myocardial infarction. Relatively few studies have been conducted in younger populations or in healthy individuals. Because we had access to baseline cholesterol data on 1,084 relatively young, otherwise completely healthy, nonobese males, we elected to determine the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia in this population. Elevated cholesterol levels (> 200 mg/dL) were found in 25.2% of our healthy subjects. These findings help to confirm the presence of a potentially serious public health problem existing among otherwise healthy, relatively young men in our community.
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